Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

11/5/18, Book Signings

Posted on November 5, 2018

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a great week, and thank you for your comments to my last blog. I always enjoy them!!!

 

I’ve had a crazy busy week, travelling from one end of my world to the other, stopping to see two of my daughters on the way, and now I’m back to work at my desk. I started wrapping Christmas presents last week—ugh!!! I wrap like a 5 year old!!! With wads of scotch tape to hold the mess together!!! My gifts for children look like they were wrapped BY children!!!

 

One of you asked if I do book signings and book tours, which is worthy of a response!!! Book tours, never. I already had my first child, when I wrote my first book at 19, and I told my publisher at the time that I could not travel and leave home. That was more and more the case, as I continued to have children over the years. And with 9 kids at home to chase around by day, and my books to write at night, and a husband to take care of too, there was no way I could get away for a book tour, and was delighted not to!! They used to be like 15 cities in 15 days, and I never did one. The publisher at the time told me that if I didn’t do book tours, I would never be a success as an author. Oh well, I figured the kids were more important than a book tour, and things turned out pretty well on both fronts, the kids and the books, with no book tours. So the answer is no to that question. And now, how would I ever have time to write the books if I did book tours too? I’d rather be home writing than doing book tours.

 

As for book SIGNINGS, now that’s a whole other story. For pretty much the same reason, I have only done 3 book signings in my whole career. And all 3 were pretty unusual, and many years apart.

 

The first one happened when I was about 20 or so, with one of my early books. The publisher thought I should do a book signing (since I didn’t do book tours), so I agreed to do it, although I’m pretty shy. They often grouped authors together for those signings, sometimes with better known authors, who would attract people, and I was totally unknown then. I arrived at the book signing, and discovered that they had paired me up with a very successful author, who had had a terrible childhood, and had been the victim of shocking abuse by her mother. She had been locked in a closet or an attic for many years, eventually had been rescued but was very physically damaged by those early years. She was a very successful author, was in a wheel chair, and had very limited use of her limbs, but wrote very popular books, so she was the star of the show. The other author was a Viet Nam war veteran, who was a very interesting man, and surely very brave, and had lost both arms and both legs in Viet Nam. He was only able to sign the books by holding a pencil in his teeth. I have to admit, being very young, and nervous about the signing anyway, I was somewhat daunted by being seated between two people, both in wheel chairs and neither could hold a pen. I felt terrible for both of them, both were more successful than I, and I went home full of admiration for them, but not sure that I was ready for another book signing. It was an unusual experience, to say the least.

 

The second book signing was several years later, a little further along in my career. I was slightly better known but not as much as I am now, and I was a little nervous, worried about how foolish I’d look if no one showed up. Several hours before the book signing, it began snowing—I mean, REALLY snowing, like a blizzard. There was about a foot of snow (in New York) on the ground by the time I sat down to start signing stacks and stacks of books for people who had not showed up. The publisher had very generously provided trays of delicious treats and tiny sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres. So I sat there nibbling the hors d’oeuvres, waiting for people to come, while it continued to snow. Finally, after about an hour, a homeless woman wandered in. She was very nice and we struck up a conversation and chatted for about an hour. I gave her a book, and we ate quite a lot of the little sandwiches, and at the end of the book signing, we filled a shopping bag for her with all the snacks and sandwiches, and she went off, happy with the food, and she was my only customer that night. Technically, the book signing was not a huge success, but I had a nice time with her. I figured after that that maybe book signings were not for me (although the food was great!!). I didn’t do another one for twenty years or so, and said that I never would again. It’s very embarrassing sitting there with mountains of books and talking to yourself while no one shows up. I was really grateful for the company when the homeless lady showed up!

 

But a few years ago, when my children’s books came out about my little Chihuahua Minnie (“Pretty Minnie in Paris” and “Pretty Minnie in Hollywood”), a very sweet friend who has a beautiful store asked me to do a book signing at her store. She has a really lovely store a few blocks from my home, and sells beautiful table top things and high end items for the house. She also has a section of coffee table books, and had ordered some of my children’s books to sell. She was so kind with the offer, that I couldn’t turn her down, she had an excellent list of guests, ordered champagne, hired car parkers for the hordes of people she was sure would come, and organized everything. All I had to do was sit, sign books and smile and she would do everything. Easy as pie, right?? Who could resist an invitation like that? So I accepted gratefully, and got all dressed up on the appointed day, I only had a few blocks to drive, and I was literally walking out the door when my youngest (college age) daughter bent down to pick something up off the floor, didn’t notice the sharp corner of a cupboard right over her head, stood up in a rush and slashed her head right open with a huge gash, and stood up with a wash of blood running down her face. It was quite horrifying, she didn’t feel awful, but the things they say about heads bleed a lot I can assure you are true. I rushed over to help her, and was immediately covered in blood too. I had an instant decision to make—-the book signing where I was expected right then—-or take my daughter to the hospital? What do you think? I went straight to the emergency room with my daughter, with a friend who was there. We sat for an hour in the emergency room, waiting for her to be seen, and as emergency rooms are, an hour later, we were still sitting there looking like the Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I called my friend hosting the book signing and explained, and promised to come for at least a few minutes before it was over. Another hour, and we were still in the ER going nowhere fast. I then dashed to the store where they had the book signing, leaving my daughter with the friend. My daughter was feeling fine, but looked very scary, with an ice pack on her head and blood everywhere. I then rushed into the book signing, looking like I had murdered someone on the way, covered in blood, tried to look nonchalant, (unfortunately I don’t drink, because I’m sure the champagne would have helped), I chatted with all the people there, pretending to look normal, signed as many books as I could in about half an hour, apologized to my friend, and rushed back to the hospital, where we waited for another two hours before they FINALLY stapled (ughkkkk!!!) my daughter’s head back together. Being of the internet generation, by then she was putting photographs of the gash in her head on Instagram, Facebook and sending the photos to friends. YERGHK!!! And all stapled back together, we then went home. I hear people really enjoyed the champagne and yummy food and happy atmosphere at the book signing!!  So that is the story of my third and final book signing. Incredibly bad timing, and lots of drama. And by the time we got home, my daughter was feeling fine, and considered it an adventure. I was pretty shaken up over it, seeing my child covered in blood!!! I figured after that one, I’d quit while I was ahead…..so do I do book signings?…..eh not really. I can’t even imagine what might happen at the next one. So no, I do not do book signings, and if you missed the first one, got snowed out for the second one, and missed seeing me dash into the third one, looking like Lizzie Borden after she swung the axe……then I guess you missed my entire book signing career!!! I don’t think I’ll be doing another one!!! But I’m happy to sign a book for you whenever I see you. But my book signing event karma is not so great!!! And that is the story of my 3 book signings!!!

 

 

Have a great week!!! lots of love, Danielle

 

10/15/18, Your comments

Posted on October 15, 2018

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is going well for you, as we creep up on Halloween. Have you planned your Halloween costume yet?? I’m going to give a Halloween dinner for my godchildren, but I haven’t figured out what to wear yet (they’ve already seen my Whoopie cushion costume, so I’ll have to come up with something new). And yes, I bought Halloween costumes for my dogs—they are tired of their bumble bee costumes!!!

 

On a night when I couldn’t sleep, having cruised through 3 time zones over 6,000 miles in 3 days, I guess jet lag caught up with me. I like to say that I don’t get jet lag, but it does catch up with me too, though not often. Being wide awake in the middle of the night, I read your comments in response to my blogs, and was deeply touched by many of your kind, loving comments, especially about my son Nick (from the people who say they have been helped by him, with their own struggles.  I keep you close to my heart, and in my prayers).I always read your comments, but sometimes I go back and check for any I missed, and being awake at 4 am was a great opportunity. Some of your comments made me laugh out loud.

 

On a practical note, one of you suggested that I go to a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting to report about the coyotes loose in our neighbourhood. There are more and more reports of them all over the city, and I think your suggestion is great, and will act on it. The city is refusing to deal with it, and they say there are too many to deal with or control. I hear more and more reports of pets lost to coyotes, not just in SF, but all over the country. What is happening that we’re being inundated by coyotes??? But I thought the Board of Supervisors suggestion was great.

 

Another comment was that someone had read 118 of my books, and was afraid that they had missed some. I have written 171 books to date—-5 of them were never published (my 2nd through 6th books, written when I was in my late teens. My very first one was “Going Home”, which was published and is still in print. And they were all published and are still in print, from my seventh book on). 5 of my books are non-fiction, on a variety of subjects (pregnancy, homelessness, my son Nick, etc). There are 147 novels, and the rest are a book of poetry, and many illustrated children’s books for young children. If you look at the most recent hardcover book, it lists all the books going back to the first one, so that way you can tell if there are any you’ve missed. And thank you for reading the 118 until now!!! Wow!!!

 

The comment that really made me laugh out loud, was the reader who was laughing at me for recently replacing a 14 year old TV in my bedroom. She said that if I have a 14 year old cell phone too, that would make me a historian. Well, guess what? I DONT have a 14 year old cell phone—-I have an 18 year old cell phone!!! Ha!!! So there. And it works great—-it is a tiny, old, Nokia, which pre-dates the flip phone. I drop it on the floor regularly, and I pick it up and it keeps on going (when my children drop their cell phones, it’s the end of their phones!! Not mine). I love it because it’s not only reliable, but it has multi colored flashing (disco) lights when I get a phone call, so if I’m in a noisy place, I can SEE when it’s ringing, if I glance in my purse. And then it has different flashing lights to tell me I have a message. How can you beat that??? Unlike a smart phone, I cannot tell you on what date and time Grace Kelly was born, what shoe size Albert Einstein wore, or how many people live in South Dakota and what their favorite movies are. It has a camera feature I have never figured out how to work, and basically it only works for phone calls and texts. I don’t want emails on my cell phone, or like my children, I would have my eyes glued to my phone during every meal. I am NOT a high tech person. I can barely work my computer, and make embarrassing mistakes on it all the time, I only use it for email, and not much else, and I don’t know how to shop on line (and everyone refuses to show me). I write my books on a 1946 German typewriter, an Olympia, which I LOVE, and wouldn’t dare write on a computer, or I would erase 14 chapters while trying to figure out where the shift key is. I accidentally erase as many emails as I send.  The only thing I know how to do on my IPad is play solitaire, which I enjoy. Supposedly I could send emails, watch movies, or launch a rocket ship and work my curtains from my IPad, but damned if I know how. I have proven to be an F student on anything computer oriented, which is embarrassing, and even more so when I see 2 year olds playing games on their IPad in their strollers. It’s in their genes, not mine!!!  When I got married, I arrived in my husband’s house with the only TV I had at the time (museums were begging me for it), it had lots of snow, only certain channels worked and had a coat hanger stuck in it as an antenna. Although much older than I, my husband had adopted every kind of modern tech at the time, and was addicted to TV, he would watch several channels at once on separate TVs, and even had one in his closet so he could watch the news while he got dressed in the morning. I didn’t watch much TV, so I didn’t mind my dilapidated old TV (which he made me throw away. Can you imagine??!!). And when we moved into a new house, he sent me out to buy 15 TVs to put EVERYWHERE. I dutifully went to Macy’s and bought 15 TV’s, and was taken upstairs by security who didn’t recognize me, and thought I was buying TV’s with stolen credit cards. Who buys 15 TV’s??? So if the reader who commented on my 14 year old TV and was laughing about my cell phone, was laughing at that—now you know the WHOLE story. (My husband also got the first ‘portable’ phone at the time, which was in a suitcase, weighed about 40 lbs, and he took it proudly to restaurants so everyone could see it. Personally, I like my 18 year old Nokia much better). Maybe one day I’ll get a Smartphone. But I’m not ready to take that leap yet—-and I will NEVER be writing my books on a computer. I paid $20. for my typewriter at a 2nd hand shop (or maybe 10th hand) when I wrote my first book at 19, and my Olympia isn’t going anywhere. 171 books later, we are doing just fine!!!

 

So now you now some of my dark secrets. I am not a ‘techie’. My children have given up trying to get my old cell phone out of my hand. And I also have a new TV in my office, and I haven’t even figured out how to turn it on yet, a year after I got it. I worry sometimes that someone might try to steal my old Nokia cell phone out of my purse one day, and my kids laugh REALLY hard at that. After all, they must be jealous that my cell phone has disco lights and their Smartphones don’t. And I really don’t need to know Albert Einstein’s shoe size, or Julius Caesar’s birthday. I’m doing fine as I am.

 

So thank you for your comments and for reading my blog. And even if I don’t answer you specifically, know that I read ALL your comments, and am very grateful for them, and enjoy them a lot!!!!.

 

Have a GREAT week!!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

1/1/18, Clean Slate

Posted on January 1, 2018

Hi Everyone,

I hope that Christmas has been joyful and peaceful for you, and happened the way you wanted it to, with some happy surprises!!

Mine has been a family Christmas, which is how I like it, with my children around me, and I’ve been very lucky that my 5 younger children and their significant others all came home for Christmas, and my three older ones were nearby too. It’s been a lovely Christmas.

It’s a nostalgic time, when inevitably you think of Christmases of years past, when they were all here, living at home, we hadn’t lost anyone, and life was easier than we realized then. It’s easy to spot the blessings as you look to the past, and sometimes not as easy to recognize them in everyday life, while we’re all occupied with the business of daily living. The past seems infinitely precious now, but so is the present. I’m very grateful to have had my children with me this Christmas. And we can all heave a sigh of relief, the presents are all given out, the rushing around is all done. We pulled off the holidays for another year, and the mad rush that impacts all or most of us between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And now inevitably we take stock of all that happened in our lives this year, as it draws to a close. I am very grateful for the many blessings of this year, which in retrospect outnumber the bumps—-and there are always bumps in all our lives. But the blessings were many and very sweet.

Now we have one last hurdle to get over, before we can close this year, and get on to a new year, with all its challenges and happy, exciting moments. New Year’s eve, it’s never been a night I love. I always thought that people tried too hard, and I’ve spent it giving parties for friends, dancing on some years, giving poker parties once I was alone (which was REALLY fun!!!), I have spent it romantically, and alone, and in recent years, I really don’t want to go out and party on New Year’s eve, or even give a party (I’ve done it with fancy food, and fast food—and the fast food and curly fries and burgers and corn dogs was actually more fun!!). For the last two years, I spent New Year’s Eve writing, and I really enjoy that. My kids have left after Christmas by then, and rather than looking back at the past wistfully in a quiet house, I’d rather be deeply engaged in a new book, all wrapped up in the characters and the lives I create for them. It’s fun for me, and is a great way to spend it. I don’t need to figure out who to spend it with, or what to wear, or risk my life on the highway in bad weather going somewhere. I stay cozily at home, writing. For now, anyway, it’s my favorite plan, and how I plan to spend it this year. And however you decide to spend it, with lots of friends, a few good ones, among strangers, or alone, I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve, doing what you like to do best.

And today is a new beginning, a brand new year, a clean slate. Whatever last year brought you, whether disappointing or fabulous, today we all get to clear the decks and start again, filled with hope and plans, wishes and dreams, promises to ourselves about what we will do better, or try not to do again. You could meet the person of your dreams, wind up in a new job or home by the end of the year, or get out of a bad situation, or improve an old one. You can do almost anything you want, and start fresh today. I love the idea of that. We are all brand new today.

So let’s look ahead together, at what this New Year may bring us. And my wish for you is that it will be The BEST year ever. The Best is yet to come. Happy New Year. Happy New Day…..I want it to be a great one for you, and for all of us….that’s my wish for you. Happy Clean Slate, as we leave the past behind us, and forge ahead.

Happy 2018 !!! and all my love, Danielle

5/1/17, “Against All Odds”

Posted on May 1, 2017

Hi Everyone,

Today is a special day, for a couple of reasons. I hope you’ve had a good week with lots of good things happening. I always love May Day, it was a wonderful holiday when I was a little girl, and I still love it as an adult. As I’ve mentioned to you before, in France (where May Day is Labor Day), the custom is to give those you care about (friends, family, or loves) a sprig of lily of the valley. It’s my favorite flower and the smell is heavenly!! And in Paris, on every street corner, vendors are selling sprigs of lily of the valley for people to give to friends or loved ones. And when you get a little sprig of lily of the valley from someone, it is supposed to bring you luck!! I always give a dinner party on May 1st, with close friends, and give each of them a little vase of lily of the valley to take home with them.

May 1st is particularly special to me because it’s also my son Nick’s birthday. The day always reminds me of all the wonderful birthday parties we had for him. An almost life size cake, shaped like a whole person, of his favorite singer at the time: Prince. (He was also Prince for Halloween when he was 5 or 6—-he had very advanced taste in music for his age, and later became a musician, singer, and composer. When he dressed up as Prince, he wore a black wig, boots, and wore a lavender and red lame sparkly disco outfit of mine, from my younger days!! One year we had a cake that was a life size cake version of his favorite skateboard. We went all out for birthdays and holidays!! He LOVED his birthdays!! So although it is always bittersweet that he is no longer here, it’s the anniversary of a happy day, and I invite 10 or 12 of my closest friends, and I celebrate him in my heart, and it’s nice being with friends on that night.

Tomorrow is going to be a special day too. My newest Book, “Against All Odds”, is coming out tomorrow. It’s about a widowed woman, single Mom of four adult children in their 20’s and 30’s—-and the disastrous relationships they get into, thinking that they can “beat the odds”. It’s hard or even impossible to beat the odds (someone wins the lottery, but no one I know!!)—-if it looks like it’s going to be a disaster, more than likely it will be. It’s about each of the four children’s relationships, and how challenging it is for parents to watch their kids make dangerous choices—-and there’s nothing you can do about it. The situations they get into are very varied, and how they face their challenges is exciting. I hope you love it, and maybe you can relate to it as a parent. We’ve all been there in one form or another, watching our kids grow up!! Have a GREAT week!!

love, Danielle

Filed Under Family, Kids, Paris, Writing | 4 Comments

3/6/17, Paris in the Spring

Posted on March 6, 2017

Hi Everyone,

I hope all is well with you. I have been writing nonstop lately, working on a new book, so I’m sorry if I was uncommunicative for a week or two as the writing got intense and the book heated up. When I’m writing, I can’t concentrate on anything else!!

Well, as the song says, I love Paris in the Spring…but it is pouring rain, and today there was even a hail storm, this is ridiculous!!! We need some flowers and sunshine by now after the winter!!!

I took a break from writing when I finished a big chunk of writing on Thursday—just in time for one of my daughters to spend three days with me, on her way to do a freelance fashion job in Greece, and it was wonderful to have time alone with one of my kids. We went shopping, had lunch and dinner out, stayed up late talking, and watched a favorite TV series (the new English one about Queen Victoria, which is a knockout, beautifully done!! I had seen it and love it, but watched part of it again with her.)

She’s one of my daughters who works in fashion, so we went to the Celine ready to wear fashion show today, —-in the pouring rain. It was held indoors at a tennis club. And as usual, the characters and ultra fashion-y outfits were in evidence in the audience. Also, the important power figures were very much present: Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, Hamish Bowles and Grace Coddington (who is a legend) also from Vogue, there were editors and buyers, some clients, Suzy Menkes, famous fashion journalist and a legend too. It was a great opportunity for people watching, as well as seeing what was on the runway. The show itself was very serious, with clothes for the fall, subdued colors, simple clothes, and many things my daughters loved (one of them saw it on the Internet in New York). It was, as always, a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon. And I’ll be seeing two more shows this week. I guess fashion is just a fun way for me to relax for a minute between books, and with three daughters in the business, I’m always interested in what’s happening in that world, and what the new styles are for the next season. Since I went to design school, for fashion design, I still love to keep up with it.

I had a great time writing for the last few weeks, I love it when I get plunged deep in the story, and forget everything else that’s going on—the way you feel when you read a book, and can totally escape whatever is happening in your life. I’m editing another book now, and working on the outline for the next one.

I hope that all is going well for you, and that you’re getting at least a hint of spring wherever you are. Have a great week!!

love, Danielle

10/3/16, Writing

Posted on October 3, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Well, that was a busy week. I hope yours was busy, in good ways.

I’ve been writing for the past week, which always feels great. Life is so unpredictable, you never know what to expect next. Good stuff, bad stuff, surprises of all kinds. And there is very little we can control in life. But when I sit down to write, the world fades, I know where the book is going, I’ve worked hard on the outline for months, and when anything spins out of control in the story, I can fix it immediately. In the book, I know who the characters and what’s going to happen. I’m the one who makes the decisions, and decides where the book is going to go. It’s a great feeling unraveling the story, getting involved with the characters in the book, until they seem real. I know what they would and wouldn’t do and I respect it. And if the book starts to veer off in some direction, I can correct it, fix it, rewrite it and bring it back. It’s an amazing feeling of control of the story. And the process of developing a book is an exciting one, and so familiar. I don’t care how I look, what I wear, and I just keep following the story.

So I’m busy writing which is always great for me!! I’ve been locked up in my office or a week. I miss being out when I’m all locked up. I miss my kids, and my friends. I miss going outside. But the only way I can write a story is to stick with it right to the end, with as few distractions as possible. So think a good thought for the book I’m working on, and I’ll be back to chat with you in greater depth next week.

all my love, Danielle

11/9/15, Facebook Chat coming up Wednesday!!!

Posted on November 9, 2015

Hi Everyone,

busy week last week for me, and a VERY exciting announcement today by my publisher: Starting next month, they are going to publish 6 of my books in hardcover every year, and 6 books in paperback (of books that were previously in hardcover). This is in response to readers asking for More, More, MORE!!! It’s a fantastic challenge to meet and so exciting for me. Since I work on several books a month, I can give you six new books a year!!! I hope you love them!! I will be working hard for you, and can’t wait!!!

How are you?? Doing well, I hope. And doing some things you enjoy. I have a sign in my office that says “Do more of what YOU want to do.” It’s a good reminder. I’m a ‘dutiful’ person and do a lot of the things I think I should do—-and not always the fun things I’d enjoy doing. We have to remember to put fun in our lives too.

This past week has been a busy one, LOTS of writing (in outline, first draft and editing form), seeing some friends, planning for the holidays, some Christmas shopping (Now that IS fun!!! I love shopping for myself and others—-I can have a good time anywhere, even in a hardware store!!)

It was one of my 2 country/3 city weeks, visiting my children, traveling 6,000 miles to do it. That’s a lot of airplanes, I use the time to watch movies, sleep, and catch up on reading!!!

I had a request recently to contribute to a psychiatric book about bi polar illness. My son Nick suffered from it, so I was pleased to add what I had to say on the subject, from a parent’s point of view. Hopefully it will help some parents, trying to support their child meet their challenges.

AND I am REALLY looking forward to our Facebook Chat this week on Wednesday November 11, at 2pm Eastern time. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to answer you directly. Unfortunately, I can’t answer all the posts, but I type as fast as I can, so I answer as many as possible. It’s VERY exciting for me to be in direct contact with you. Forgive me if I don’t get to yours—–I really do my best to answer you. We receive about 2,000 posts in the time allotted, and typing really fast, I answer about 200. I am so grateful to you for reaching out and sharing your thoughts with me.

Holiday plans are shaping up. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and what I am ALWAYS grateful for is your loyalty to me and your kindness.

Have a great week, lots of love, Danielle

8/24/15, Whisper Thanks…

Posted on August 24, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I tackled a massive project recently: my desk. On the corner of my desk is a stacked “outbox”, where everything seems to wind up, bank information, literary contracts, birthday cards from my children, poems I’ve written, Christmas lists, and religious articles. Anything I’m not sure where to file, I put on the stack in my outbox, until it resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and if anyone moves too quickly, bumps into it, or adds a single piece of paper to it, it slides into an avalanche onto the floor. I clean it all out every few years, though I rarely go through it all. With a few hours to spare recently, I decided to attack it, put away the sentimental things, photos of friends….a photo of a man I dated a dozen years ago, birthday cards from my husband from longer ago than that. I decided to get rid of what was no longer relevant, file the business papers in my office, and get rid of the towering stack. There were things in it that went back twenty years, and I found some real treasures, some things that made me laugh, and of course a lot of junk. But some truly great stuff from my kids!!! I saved everything that was special or meant a lot to me, and put it all in a box.

And among the papers, I found some things that had inspired me and I was happy to find. And I thought I’d share two of them with you here, about love, and life.

The first one was written by Mary Baker Eddy: “I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power”. I like that one a lot.

And the other one is anonymous but touched me too:
“If life is funny, it’s okay to laugh.
If it becomes too difficult, it’s okay to travel with a friend.
If life becomes tragic, it’s okay to cry.
If life becomes impossible, you still have to go on, you can never, ever give up.
If life becomes too lonely, look for someone to take your hand.

And if by some miracle, you find your dreams and they actually come true, remember to count your blessings and whisper thanks.”

I love that message a lot. Have a great week!!

love, Danielle

8/3/15, “So you’re a writer?”

Posted on August 3, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a good week, and that August is off to a good start. I’m hoping it will be peaceful. We’ve had something of a turbulent summer, which you know, if you read my blog about Sam Ewing 2 weeks ago, “Fallen Hero”. But we’ve had some really good family time together, which is the best antidote to the pains of ‘real life’. And I had a wonderful 10 day vacation with my 5 youngest children. I am always grateful for time with my kids, when they can spare the time from their jobs and busy lives. And in a few weeks, I’m hoping to spend some time with all my kids. So….onward….

In the comments to last week’s blog, someone mentioned that she was writing her first novel, and said that people were really giving her a hard time about it. And oh do I know that one. Somebody told me years ago that there are two jobs everyone thinks they can do, if they just had the time and wanted to: writing and photography. We all know we can’t be brain surgeons, or lawyers or nuclear physicists unless we study for it for a lot of years. But lots of people think they can write, and everyone takes pictures, so they figure they can do it, if they want to bother. And lots of people are talented writers and photographers, but it’s not quite as easy as some people think, and they might be surprised if they try it!!! (My father was a talented amateur photographer, who sold some of his photographs in later years, and let me tell you, that talent is not hereditary—–I can’t take a photo without cutting everyone’s head off, or get it in focus. Although one of my daughters is a terrific photographer. But I’m never going to win any prizes or set the world on fire with my pictures!!)
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5/4/15, “The Sun Will Shine Through Rain” (Nick Traina)

Posted on May 4, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I’m sorry I was a no show last week, I was busy writing, and am very happy with what I’ve been working on, and I hope you will be too. Writing is often where I take refuge from real life, and my own problems, it’s a world where I am comfortable, feel at ease, know how to solve the problems in the story, and sometimes when the writing soars, it is pure joy. After doing it for a long time, I still thoroughly enjoy what I do, even though it’s hard work and challenging at times, and even exhausting when I work 20 hour stretches on my old typewriter. Sometimes it’s almost like flying, as you rise above the clouds, and see things more clearly, about life, and intricate situations. And I always fall in love with the characters in the book, and they become real to me, just as they do to you. It’s probably because they do seem real to me that you feel that way too when you read the books. The characters I write about are always fictional, because it would be too limiting to base them on real people. So I’ve been having a great time writing, and I hope you like the book when you read it. (I never tell the story or the title beforehand. It’s more fun to keep it a surprise!! But I think you will love this one, as I do!!) » read more »